A lot of us started here with the DM2. It’s heavily pushed here at YYE, mainly since it’s a signature yoyo of the owner. But, that aside, it is a great yoyo. I like it. Lots of other people like it. It’s also a popular model. However, just like anything else, it comes down to personal preferences. It’s on the large size and the heavy side. It’s designed to be used by beginners and advanced players and is seriously good enough to last your entire yoyo “career”. It comes with a narrow and full spec bearing to let you move from responsive to unresponsive play. The response pads can be replaced with flowable silicone if you want to. You can play with the caps in or out, which affects both the weight and allows for inner ring grinds if you’re into that.
So, I’m biased towards the DM2. I won’t apologize for that. I got more expensive yoyos, and yet this is the one I keep going to time and time again. I’m talking about stuff like a 54, Code 1, Avalanche, Gnarwal and other stuff.
The Legacy II is an all plastic signature by the owner of YYE as well. I don’t have any experience with this, but most people I’ve talked to like the Legacy. The Legacy II is new, so we can’t expect as many people to have it yet. This is a good way to go that route while saving money. I still recommend the DM2. The metal rims will give you more stability.
I have the ONE and while I like it, it’s not a go-to item. It seems to cater to new people of course, especially in the package with 2 bearings, which if you’re going to go that way, that’s the package to get. It’s cheap, it’s durable, but it’s very light, but then again, it’s all plastic, so that makes sense. This is great beginner yoyo for the price and with the extra bearing gives you some growing room. If you’re more advanced, it gives you a different challenge in either bearing. I mean, if pressed, it’s good. It’s no clunker that’s for sure, but I think you’ll do better with a DM2. The increased of the DM2 will give you longer spin times.
As far as the Duncan Freehand 2 suggestion, I have 2 of them. One is a “regular” one, one is a “Freakhead” edition, bought because I work a horror film festival. They are OK at best. The Freehand Zero would be a much better option. A Freehand Zero modified by XminusmikeX would be even better. I can speak from experience as I have a “stock” FHZ and a modified one and they are worlds apart. I do second the recommendation about the silicone stickers over the friction stickers. Friction stickers suck and don’t last long, while the silicone stickers last a good longtime. As much as I like my custom FHZ, I still go back to my DM2. If you’re going down the Duncan route, I hear wonderful things about the Raptor. I’m not quite interested in it enough yet to purchase one of my own but that may change.
ALSO, keep in mind, there is so much tied to preferences. I like the DM2. Raphael, who posted in this thread, does not care for it. I can respect and accept that.
The DM2 was also my first “modern yoyo” I purchased. I don’t really consider the Reflex or Imperial I started with to modern designs.
Now you have the problem of deciding for sure and purchasing! Don’t narrow your options, but do work within your budget. $100 is a LOT of budget. We’re mostly steering you in the sub-$50 market because you’re a beginner. You can always upgrade or get something else later and keep the DM2 as a secondary or primary throw.
I swear, I should be getting commissions!